Tourists flummoxed by work during school holidays
A RESORT operator is frustrated over Townsville City Council’s timing, with a beach at The Strand closed for sand redistribution work at the start of the busy winter school holidays.
However, the council says the work needed to be carried out during a small window between major events.
Heavy machinery began work on Monday to redis- tribute sand along the beach between Tobruk Pool and the Gregory St headland as part of ongoing maintenance of the foreshore.
Mariners North Holiday Apartments resident manager Brett Thompson said his accommodation was booked solid, and guests were expecting a relaxing beachside holiday.
Instead they are being woken at 6am by bulldozers and forced to walk more than 500m if they want to access another beach.
“I’ve got guests shaking their heads, saying, ‘ Why on earth would they do it now,’ it’s just crazy,” Mr Thompson said.
“The beach has been like that for 12 months, so there is no possible or reasonable ex- planation to do it in the first week of school holidays.”
Mr Thompson said the city had put a lot of work into promoting the region ahead of the peak tourism influx, but having The Strand as a “construction site” was counterproductive.
“This is the time to showcase Townsville, and this makes us look like country bumpkins,” he said.
“They could have done it last week and no one would have noticed.
“Someone at council has made an error of judgment and I just want them to admit they made a mistake.’’
Deputy Mayor Vern Veitch admitted there was never a good time to conduct the work.
“It has to be done, and the difficulty we’ve got is we can’t do it in the wet season … but then the dry season is full of events from one end to the other,” Cr Veitch said.
“We don’t want it during the V8s, triathlon or running festivals … so I encourage businesses to be patient.”
The work is scheduled to be completed by Friday, with the beach to reopen in stages as redistribution is finalised.
Heavy machinery at work on the The Strand.